Configuration and co-presence: The underpinnings of job opportunities
2013 (English)In: Proceedings of the 9th International Space Syntax Symposium / [ed] Y O Kim, H T Park and K W Seo, Seoul: Sejong University , 2013, , 17 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Several suburbs in the Stockholm region witnessed serious outbreaks of violence during May 2013. The pattern is recognizable: frustration over a situation of social exclusion has resulted in recurrent disorder in disadvantaged neighbourhoods. There is no doubt that the matter of social segregation is highly complex; there is neither an easy explanation nor a simple solution. The uneven distribution of unemployment and the uneven income distribution in Stockholm that often coincide with ethnic residential segregation stand out as increasingly compromising manifestations of urban segregation and of increasing social polarization—a situation that has proved difficult to change in spite of several initiatives.
This paper focuses on how the built environment may play a role in matters related to segregation; more specifically, it studies this from the angle of chances in the labour market. The starting point for this investigation is twofold: first, geographical access to jobs has been identified as an extremely important factor affecting people’s chances of success in the labour market (Åslund et al. 2010; Gobillon et al. 2005; Zenou et al. 2006), a mechanism related to the spatial-mismatch hypothesis (Kain 1968). Second, co-presence in public space affects the life chances that a neighbourhood affords. For example, the public culture that may develop, including certain views and norms, is arguably affected by those who share public space (Zukin 1995; Grannis 1998; Strömblad 2001; Franzén 2009), and it is argued that information and knowledge that non-locals may bring to an area is different from ‘provincial news and views’, believed important in obtaining a job (Granovetter 1983).
Through an application of advanced spatial analysis using space syntax and the Place Syntax Tool in combination with information from questionnaires and observations, this study identifies inequalities, comparing neighbourhoods across the city of Stockholm. The results show that spatial configuration has a direct influence on access to workplaces as well as on other aspects that affect residents’ opportunities in the labour market. It also comes to light that the local outcome is highly dependent on the context of a place or of a neighbourhood, indicating that an area’s surroundings need to be acknowledged to a greater degree and taken into consideration in antisegregation initiatives. I argue that the precise spatial analysis applied in this paper captures important implications regarding urban configuration for matters related to opportunities in the labour market.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Seoul: Sejong University , 2013. , 17 p.
access to workplaces, configuration, co-presence, urban inequality, Place Syntax Tool
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-137198ISBN: 978-89-86177-21-3OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-137198DiVA: diva2:678259
2013 International Space Syntax Symposium; Seoul, Korea 31 October - 3 November, 2013
Reference year corrected in this version, Åslund et al. 2010.
QC 201312122013-12-112013-12-112014-02-21Bibliographically approved